What is it?

The Legal English course at MCSE provides students with the language skills necessary to operate in a legal context by using real-life situations that you would experience when working as a commercial lawyer. In addition, the course prepares students to take the Cambridge-certified International Legal exam (ILEC) which is accepted worldwide by law firms, corporate legal departments and government agencies. The exam is designed to be fair to people of all nationalities and linguistic backgrounds.

Who is it for?

The Legal English course at MCSE is suitable for

  • learners who want to gain an internationally-recognised qualification (ILEC)
  • learners who are preparing to work in the international legal community
  • practising lawyers who want to find a new job in international commercial law and/or gain promotion within their own organisation
  • learners and/or practicing lawyers who simply want to learn legal English as part of a training programme without taking the ILEC exam

Aims of the course

The Legal English course at MCSE prepares students for working internationally in commercial law and/or to take the Cambridge International Legal Exam (ILEC) by

  • teaching learners how to use English in a commercial law environment
  • studying a wide variety of legal topics such as Company Law, Contract Law, Intellectual Property and Competition Law
  • studying authentic legal case studies
  • teaching exam tips and strategies
  • exam practice
  • improving student’s ability to carry out web-based research through end-of-unit on-line tasks

Areas of law studied on the course

The content of the course closely follows the topics of the ILEC exam which typically are:


  • corporate
  • business associations
  • contract
  • sale of goods
  • real property
  • debtor-creditor
  • intellectual property
  • employment
  • competition
  • environmental
  • negotiable instruments
  • secured transactions
  • aspects of international law

What level of English is needed for the course?

Both the course and the ILEC exam focus on CEFR levels B2 (upper level) and C1, equivalent to IELTS bands 6.5 to 7.0. You will need to prove your level of English before acceptance on to the course.

How long is the course? Do I need to do the whole course?

The full-time course takes 12 weeks – if you want to take the ILEC exam it is strongly recommended that you complete the full course.

If you do not want to take the exam and just wish to improve your legal English generally, or for specific areas of law, then it is not essential to complete the whole course and students will receive certification from MCSE detailing the skills and legal topics they have covered.

Course dates

The course has a specific start date and end date – such dates are determined by the number of students wishing to take the course at a given time.

Course hours

Full-time course for ILEC exam preparation: 26 hours per week.

Monday to Thursday 9.30am – 12.45pm and 1.45pm – 4.00pm.

Friday 9.30am – 12.45pm and 1.45pm – 3.45pm

NB: The course hours for students who are not taking the ILEC exam may differ.

The exam format

All four language skills (reading, writing, listening and speaking) plus knowledge of grammar and vocabulary are assessed in the exam. The diagram below shows the exam format – each paper is worth 25% of the total grade.